As a continuation to the recent post, Use A Walking Stick To Relieve Pain!, we want to teach you how to craft your own personalized walking stick! It’s really a quite simple process, and in return, you will have a unique, personalized walking stick to show off! As mentioned in the prior post, walking sticks help to relieve aches and pains while walking, plus help with mobility and balance. Walking sticks are perfect for any age, as well!
Here’s How To Craft Your Own Personalized Walking Stick!
1. Find Your Stick!
Head to your local woods or park to find a good stick. You want the stick to be thick enough so that it can withstand the pressure of your body weight when you lean on it. Furthermore, you want to make sure there are no cracks, knotholes or rot. Verify that the stick is completely dry. Deadwood is better, but it’s okay if you find a green one to dry out. Don’t just pick up the first stick you see! There are lots of unique-looking, fallen branches in the woods and you might be surprised at what you can find! Find a couple, then bring them all home or choose your favorite.
Don’t worry about twigs or branches sprouting out just yet; you can remove those later! Break off what you can in the woods for easier transport, then you can remove the rest at home.
2. Remove Twigs And Bark!
Back at home, use a pocket knife to carefully remove any twigs. If the stick still has its bark, you can remove that also. Removing the bark will allow you to sand down the stick to make it smooth. Furthermore, it will allow you to carve in designs.
3. Make Sure Your Walking Stick Is The Correct Height!
Walk around with it and see where you feel comfortable placing your hand. Your grip should be about 2-3 inches from the top of the stick. After figuring this out, cut the stick, preferably with a saw or sharp file, to make it the correct height.
4. Sand The Stick And Round Any Knobs!
Now it’s time to sand the stick down. If your stick has any knobs, you can sand or file these completely down, or round them out to your liking. The top of the stick can also be rounded. This will depend on what kind of design you have in mind. For a simple, no-fuss top, just round it out with a file then sand it until it’s smooth. Remember to leave the 2-3 inches above your gripping spot! To be creative, or if your stick already has a uniquely designed top, smooth it out as you see fit.
5. Customize Your Grip!
For a simple grip, carve in grooves like you see in a steering wheel. You really want a place for your fingers to rest comfortably. Be creative with this! After carving, sand it to make it smooth again.
6. Drill A Hole For Your Wrist String!
This part is optional, but a lot of people like a wrist string. Wrist strings are good for several reasons. Firstly, a wrist string allows you to keep the stick with you even if you have to use your hand for something. Secondly, if you drop the stick or accidently let go of the grip, your stick won’t fall to the ground.
A little bit higher than the grip area, drill a 1/4 inch hole. Smooth out any shavings.
To remove any lingering sawdust from the stick, you can wipe it with a rag dipped in paint thinner.
6. Craft Your Stick!
You can carve designs with a knife or paint on designs! You can also decorate your stick with wood burnings! Here’s a good video to learn the techniques of wood burning! You can also add emblems and bear bells! Be creative; you can do anything that your heart desires!
It’s ideal to find a dead stick to begin with, but if your stick is still green, you need to let it dry out for a week or two. Keep it on a flat surface and rotate it every day to keep it from bowing.
7. Staining Your Stick!
Apply 2 coats of wood stain, one at a time. You will want to let each layer of stain to dry overnight. Pick out a stain that reflects your personality. There are many to choose from at paint or craft stores!
While you are buying stain, you will also need clear urethane varnish.
After your two coats of wood stain are completely dry, apply 3 coats of the varnish. Again, let each coat dry overnight. The clear varnish will seal the wood and prevent your walking stick from rotting. If you don’t like the shiny look, you can sand the stick very lightly with fine sand paper.
8. Thread Your Wrist Band!
Find a cord or rawhide string of your choosing and thread it through the hole. Adjust the length of the string to the size of your wrist. You don’t want it too tight, or too loose! Tie a tight knot and trim the ends.
There you go! You have just crafted your own personalized walking stick!
Remember, wood is fickle, and things might not go as planned while crafting your stick! A saying that I once heard is “A walking stick is born as much as it’s made!”
Furthermore, this is your first walking stick, and I’m sure that you learned a lot. Plus, you will gain new ideas as you do more crafting! – Just think, this can be a great hobby to get into!
Robin, and The Zen Team!
*Note: This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any health condition. Therefore, ask your doctor about any health concerns that you might have and seek proper medical treatment.
Photo Sources: Pixabay.com